Thursday, 2 December 2010

Snowbound and Stir-crazy

I miss cycling. It has been three days now. Every morning I get up and look at the whitened streets around my house and have a vivid flashback to a horrible fall two winters ago. I rounded a corner on what turned out to invisible black ice, my bike (Stally the Stallion, Trusty's precursor) went one way and I went the other. Hard, and fast. The bruise on my thigh took about a month to fade. And I can't face it happening again.
However, I am getting to the point where I think it might be worth it. I can feel Trusty's waves of resentment at being cooped up all the way from his garage to my fourth floor flat. I have taken the tube three days in a row, and like it no better with practice. It feels like swimming, and not in a good way- taking a death breath and diving below, feeling your lungs burn until you can burst through the surface and out into the air. The underground is the underside of London, no light, no beauty, just angry faces and stale smells. Yes, it is fast, and warm, which I appreciate on these bitter days, but still. Perhaps risking purple thighs and frozen fingers is better. 

Having written this-of course it is. What on earth have I been thinking? Be gone, black-ice related fear. I'm getting back on the road.


  1. It's just angry in the underside of London, no control, no freedom - just at the control of TfL!

    Envious glances at cyclists going past, as they get the cold air fresh on their faces.

  2. Good for you, last few days have been alright, fun actually as there's plenty of banter at red lights. I did almost come a cropper the other day on some ice and scared a couple of nearby pedestrians, a quickly extended leg saved the day.

    A lot of slush on the way back tonight which is tiring to slice through and will freeze tonight, take care in the morning.

  3. It's horridly icy on some roads, like cycling on big ice rink!
    I don't like the lack of control. :(

    Thankfully the main roads are ok, it's just going through the quieter roads to get to those clear main roads.

  4. Ok, thanks for the info, slightly justifies my reticence. Will be back to normal soon enough.

  5. Hurrah for you!

    I find this time of year really difficult: between wanting to cycle and being prevented by the weather conditions, and not wanting to cycle because of laziness or cold or whatever, I constantly need to remind myself of the joys and pleasures of cycling. Not least the fact that I get really antsy if I haven't cycled for a while.

    And, of course, when I do get on the saddle, it's always worth it. Thanks for the reminder and the prompt.

    But be careful out there! We've missed the worst of the snow here in North Wiltshire, but there's still some tricky conditions.

  6. I decided that a couple of days off the bike wouldn't do me any harm.

    Riding home on Wednesday night it was pretty clear that in the morning there would be snow covering patches of ice on some of the less well-travelled parts of my route to work.

    Good on you for giving it a go, stick to the main roads and be careful!

  7. Have you tried studded tires (or I guess tyres for you)? I've researched them on and purchased a set of Nokian Mount & Ground studs. Here in Seattle we had a couple bitter cold, snowy days last week and I didn't yet have my new tires, but I'll be ready next time. I haven't ridden in snow and/or ice since childhood and I am very leary of falling so I will start out very cautiously. Ride Happy!

  8. I agonised over this, then decided to play it safe on the commute, but then make up for it on the weekend with a long ride through parks and on paths where emergency braking is less necessary and has less injurious consequences. Still really miss the bike during the week though.